April book reviews: Jesus Prequel

Dr. Eric Smith attends our church, and gives the Sunday message occasionally.  On one of those weeks, they mentioned that he had published a book, called Jesus Prequel: Old Testament Themes Pointing Toward New Testament Fulfillment, and they had several copies that people could buy.

We bought one, and Mama read it.  She said it was very good, and all the rest of us should read it too.  She put it on my desk and, since my desk is half mine half Becca’s and in the middle of the main-level, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to read it or if someone had just left it there.

So it sat there for like a week, before I clarified that I was supposed to read it.  It took me a little while to read because I was at a home-school kid’s conference (you can see pictures on my friend’s blog here), but I did read it eventually and really liked it.

Much of what we read in the Gospel’s may seem strange to us.  As first-century Western readers, we’re removed from Jesus’ context in so many ways: language, culture, worldview, time, location, just to name a few.  Because of that distance, our view of Jesus may be a bit fuzzy. . . Feeling at home in the Old Testament, I have found, informs how I have read the New Testament.  This book is meant to sharpen your picture of Jesus by deepening your understanding of the world Jesus came from and the people he taught.  Most of all, I wrote this book to show you Jesus and provoke your worship of him. (x)

That quote from the introduction pretty much sums up what Jesus Prequel is about: it simply gives you a better understanding of the culture in which the Bible took place.  When you understand the culture and know the language in which it was originally written, you better understand the Old Testament.  And when you understand that, the Gospels make more sense.

Jesus Prequel was not overly-Old-Testament-ish, or hard to understand.  It was clear and easy-to-read, and helped me understand the actions of Jesus and the people he interacted with, as well as the actions of people from the Old Testament and the regulations that God gave.  You can purchase a copy here.

Happy Thursday!

P.S.  Sorry it took me so long to get this posted.  Don’t miss the story-post I did this morning.

Module 8 Story #5

I am still planning on doing a book review today, but I’m not quite ready to post it and it’s about time for another story-post,  so I thought I would post this now and get my review out later today if I can.  By the way, the next part of this story is the last one.


We went to “Jason’s Deli” and after we got our lunch, Mr. Pirrip started up our conversation again, “So, you were saying that your uncle told you fossils take million of years to form?”


“Well, actually they don’t. Many people say they do, but they don’t. We have found fossils of things like cowboy boots.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes. Really—don’t look so suspicious. It’s true. I’ll find you a picture.” He pulled a smart phone from his pocket, and after fiddling with it for a while he showed me a picture. I looked it up and down—still suspicious. “It doesn’t look like a fossil.”

“But it is though. And that didn’t take millions of years to form. We can all agree on that. We’ve found fossils of other modern things as well.”

Continue reading Module 8 Story #5

??? {Mystery Quote #4} ???

IMG_0661  *

Mama and Michael made home-made chocolates yesterday.


Michael made up a chocolates-song to sing.


It had one word: “chocolates.” #ThreeYearOld 🙂


Last week’s “Mystery Quote” was from Prophet by R.J. Larson.  Spencer, Ellen, Savannah, and Skylar all got it right.  The name in the brackets was “Ela” and Savannah and Skylar got it right.

Four people?  Phew!  I think that’s a record!  Oh! I came up with something to mention:

If you look up the quote in the book, your guess still counts.  You still had to guess which book to look in.

Just thought I would clarify that.  I’ve looked up several quotes from Leah’s blog!  Now for this week’s quote:

[She] remembered that because afterwards it didn’t seem like bright blue weather anymore, although the weather had not changed in the slightest.

Go ahead and guess what name is in the brackets.

Good luck!



* pictures are from a different chocolates-making.

More flowers

Things change fast in the Springtime (especially flowers) and these are from a few days ago, so things in our backyard have changed a bit; but they’re still pretty, so I thought I’d post them. 


The leaves are getting bigger and the flowers are shedding petals, so the first is drowning out the latter.  There weren’t many flowers this year, we’re not sure why.  🙁


There was a dandelion in my last flower-pictures-post too, wasn’t there?  What’s my deal with weeds? 🙂


These flowers are all open now.  I should take more pictures!


It took me foreeeeever to get my camera to focus for this picture!  It didn’t help that M came over to see what I was taking a picture of, ’cause movement doesn’t help cameras focus, and three-year-olds don’t hold still! 🙂



Not exactly a flower!  Still picturesque.  🙂



Strawberry leaves


What will be roses. . .


I think these itty-bitty flowers grew from spilled bird-seed.  The hose is for perspective.  The picture below turned out better.


IMG_1188 IMG_1190

^ A dying tulip and a poor dandelion that Michael picked and left on the concrete.  How sad! 🙂


Things are GROWING!!!  Yippee!




We got to take Lucy swimming for the first while we were in Guangzhou, and she loved it!  We wanted to take her again (plus the rest of us love swimming too, including little brother), so we started going swimming on Sunday afternoons.  I thought I would post some pictures.  (Just F.Y.I. these pictures are from three different days; hence the people pictured in more than one swimsuit! 🙂  None of them are from today, but some of them are pretty recent.)




The lighting is really bad in there from where I was sitting because there is a window right behind the pool, but this one turned out pretty bright.


I love these silhouettes!









These pictures turned out sooo well. . . because I got up and walked around the pool to be closer to the swimmers.  Good pictures are hard work sometimes. 🙂




^Isn’t this sweet?^

Happy Sunday!




So. . . I know I already posted today, and don’t miss the last part of my most recent science story; but I’m posting again.  Because I need some help.  With names.  Like always.  Are you guys getting tired of this?  I hope not, because I could use a little help naming some characters in the new story I’m writing.

1) first off, I need a name for a young girl, in her early teens or something.  She has three siblings named Sam, Elizabeth, and Paulina; which might give you some idea of what sort of name I’m looking for.

2) second, there is a family in my story who has five children (they’re all under 1O, just F.Y.I.)  Three of them are named Thomas, Elizabeth (yes, again), and Jane.  I’m trying to come up with names for the other two.  They’re both girls.

If you guys could help me come up with something, that would great!  I know I could just try looking back at other times I’ve asked for help with names, but I’m looking for something a little bit more ‘normal’ this time, so I thought I’d just ask for a few new suggestions.  Just if something comes to mind.  Thanks so much,


Module 8 Story #4

Spencer was gone during the day on the week days this week at a debate tournament, and he and Dad brought me home a T-shirt.



#IFeelLoved #I’mATShirtPerson #ILoveMyGuys #ICouldGoOnForeverAndEver #AndEver


I think it’s about time to post another part of my story.  We’re on Part 4.  There are going to be six parts in all.

This is the first half of the Creationist side of the story that was introduced in this part.  My side of the story.  I’m excited about this part.


Uncle Zade stayed home alone while we went to church. I was actually glad, because I didn’t really want to ask Mr. Pirrip about science in front of him. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, and I didn’t want it to turn into a debate—even though I might have learned more that way.

Even at 9:30 in the morning it was hot. I leaned my forehead against the warm glass of the car window and watched the office-buildings race by. I was kind-of nervous. Not to mention that I felt torn in two. I squirmed all through the service without listening—though I didn’t usually pay very close attention.

When the service got over the three of us went in search of Mr. Robert Pirrip. After chatting with him for a while, my Dad said, “Caroline has a question for you.”

Continue reading Module 8 Story #4


Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written.  But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the LORD, who is good, pardon everyone who sets his heart on seeking God–the LORD, the God of his fathers–even if he is not clean according  to the rules of the sanctuary.”  And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.  -2 Chronicles 30:18-20 (emphasis mine.)

Just shows you the nature of our God.  HE makes rules, and we break them, and HE forgives us–repeat that roughly two trillion times, and you have a simplified version of the history of the world.

And then people say that God isn’t compassionate. . .

April Book Reviews: Begin

Philip and Erin Ulrich published The Growly Books one by one in 2013.  Mama heard about them when they published the first book, Begin; which she bought for me to try out.

It was the first time she had given me a book she did not know a lot about and asked me to tell her if it was any good, and I was a little nervous.

It proved to be a very good book though.  It was written for children ages 8 to 12; but I read at least one, maybe both, of the other two books in the series after I turned 13, and still really enjoyed them.  There are talking animals, but they are not handled in a very childish way.

Actually, I liked the way Mr. and Mrs. Ulrich handled the talking animals interacting with humans and other kinds of animals better than any other talking-animal-book I have read.  Every kind of animal had a language.  Two animals of different kinds could communicate only if one or both had learned the other’s language.  There was a people-language, a bear-language, a bee-language, etc.

As soon as they set out this morning, Growly knew this was where they were coming.  It was the perfect place for a day like today.  It was the perfect place for the beginning of an Adventure. (3)

Begin is about a bear cub named Growly.  He starts out on a well-planned “Adventure” in the wilderness, at the end of which he will be no longer called a cub, but a Young Bear; only to find himself on a much greater adventure, called out into unknown territory, with no promise he can find a way back home.

There were occasions though when Growly saw her from a distance, looking out the library window toward The Precipice.  At those times she had a far off look on her face, and he saw her wiping her eyes.  When she noticed him at last though, her smile would return. . . (23)

The bears of the city of Haven live on the edge of The Precipice, and no one knows what is beyond it.  Growly’s grandfather had a dear friend named C.J. who was blown over The Precipice in his glider during a storm.  No one has seen him sense.

At the beginning of his Adventure, Growly encounters the only creature that the bears know has been with C.J. beneath the clouds at the edge of The Precipice–a bird.  Growly cannot understand its language, but the bright, little animal gets it across that C.J. is in great danger.

Driven by the love of his friends and family for this bear he has never met, Growly follows the bird in his own glider over The Precipice into the unknown. . . only to loose his only guide and have to continue his search in this strange new world all alone.

Growly’s determination and dedication was sobering.  He makes great sacrifices for someone he has never even met.

He didn’t say anything for quite a while, but the look in his eyes made Growly feel so happy and loved that he couldn’t stop grinning. (3)

Growly does not have any siblings, but his relationship with his parents was wonderful.  Strained relationships in families are common in stories, but they bother me.  There are also several other characters that do have siblings, and their relationships are great!

There was a bit of romance–okay, kind-of a lot, which surprised me considering it was a kid’s book about animals that wear clothes; but it was all well-handled.

“I. . . I thought there were two guests,” he stammered.  “Well hello to you too!” Merridy replied, pretending to be offended.  “Who else were you hoping might be here?” . . . Growly felt himself blushing, and he knew Merridy could see it, too.  (It’s very difficult to see when a bear blushes, but other bear’s have a way of sensing it.) (24)

Over all I really enjoyed this book, and I could not wait to read the second one (the ending is a bit of a cliff-hanger)!  Over all there are three books, and the others are called Widewater (2) and  Morning (3).  I might do reviews on them too.

“It seems you did something wonderful on your way into the village, Young Bear.  There is quite a bit of confusion as to what it was that you did, but everyone seems to agree that it was indeed wonderful. (201)

Now all the rest of you brace yourselves for Ellen to gush about these books. 🙂  Any of the rest of you read them?



P.S. You can read the last post Spencer did about his TeenPact homework here


Michael: We saw something go by.  It was a ‘ment [cement] truck.  It came from that way.  [pointing]

Me: What color was it?

Michael: Red and white.  It had a white spinner, and a red cab.


Spinner?  Cab?  I would have simply said, “It was red in front, and white in back.” #QuoteTheLittlesCauseThey’reSmarterThanYou #Brothers  #MichaelLovesTrucks


🙂 ★ 🙂 ★ 🙂 ★ 🙂 ★ 🙂

Happy Wednesday, folks!  Thank you for reading my crazy blog. (And don’t miss my last story post, because it’s kind-of important.)